21 Jun Alanda M. Posey has developed an entertaining method to help children build their reading fluency!
ENGAGEMENT + EMPOWERMENT = INCREASE OF READING FLUENCY
DID YOU KNOW?
- There has been a great deal of attention placed on reading fluency in the last few years because of a growing realization of its importance in reading comprehension.
DID YOU KNOW?
- There are several reasons that attest to the fact that the child is not a fluent reader including: not being able to decode words, the lack of phoneme awareness, the lack of practice time with different texts, lack of exposure to a variety of vocabulary words, or there is a need to increase the rate of their reading.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Being a fluent reader is important because there is a connection between fluency and comprehension, and the child that struggles with fluency has difficulty with making meaning of a text.
Last school year (2015-2016), I entered this new position as an Instructional Coach, and my principal was very adamant about needing support for her teachers in the areas of reading and specifically in First Grade. At our school students in grades Kindergarten to 3rd Grade are assessed in their letter recognition, letter sound knowledge, and reading fluency abilities using a test named AIMSweb.
After taking a glance at the data it was noted that most of the kindergarten students enter first grade ON grade level, however, by the end of the year they have digressed tremendously and are not meeting the grade level expectations that indicate they are prepared for second grade. Through conversations with the teachers on this grade level, I gained an understanding of their frustration with developing fluency in their students. In Fall 2015, the results of the AIMSweb test taken at the beginning of September demonstrated that roughly 50% of our first graders in class A were “Established” (meeting the target) in their reading fluency levels. The other 50% are either “Emerging” or fall in the area of “Deficient (not meeting the target).”
So I conducted an Action Research project to culminate my Education Specialist degree at Converse College, and decided to FOCUS solely on reading fluency in a first grade classroom!
How will music integrated instruction increase the development of reading fluency in a first grade classroom?
As the coach, I am using this project to experiment with known strategies that will help the development of fluency and see if there any new techniques that we can discover as we do specific work with our students. One of the techniques that I will use is incorporating music into classroom reading instruction to help the student become a more fluent reader and understand what they are reading.
What is READING FLUENCY?
At the basic level, reading fluency refers to the ability to read text accurately, quickly, and with good expression so that time can be allocated to understanding what is read (Meyer & Felton, 1999).
How did I do it?
- Each student was tested in their reading fluency skills using a pre-test and a post-test. These tests were used to assess the effects of the interventions in this study.
- This study lasted for 8 weeks leading up to the final assessment window.
- During this time, the researcher used one first grade classroom to do music integrated lessons that involved nursery rhymes, songs, and raps using word families, phonics skills, and phonemic awareness skills.
- One class on this grade level received instruction in music. All participants were given a pre/post fluency test, a booklet of nursery rhymes, and short vowel decoding lists.
- The researcher took notes in a field journal and received feedback from cooperating teacher.
What does a FLUENT READER need?
♠ I pay close attention to ACCURACY
♠ I read with appropriate EXPRESSION
♠ I read SMOOTHLY with careful regard to PUNCTUATION
♠ I read with a NATURAL PACE
Results of the Study
- 13 out of 15 or 86% of the students made tremendous gains on a weekly basis from the initial reading to the post-test.
- 2 out of 15 students did not meet the grade level expectation of 50 wpm on any weekly assessment or the district benchmark.
- It is confirmed that music-integrated lessons with fluency strategies helps improve the accuracy and rate component of a child’s reading fluency.